Iran: Workers continue to protest over unpaid wages, job insecurity

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, May 20, 2021—As Iranian officials and media continue to warn about the possibility of another round of nationwide uprisings, labor protests continue across Iran. The Iranian people’s patience regarding the economic situation is running thin.  Iranian people continue to demonstrate in many different cities despite the threat of coronavirus and the regime’s repressive forces.

On Tuesday, May 18, workers of the Jovein Cement, Sabzevar, Razavi Khorasan Province, northeast Iran Factory went on strike and held a protest rally at their workplace.

The workers are protesting delayed paychecks, low wages, and poor working conditions. Protesters say that in these economic situation, unpaid paychecks have created many livelihood problems for them and their families, so they will not return to work until all their demands are met.

In Ahvaz, Khuzestan province, workers of Abfar, the Rural Water and Sewage Department, gathered in front of the governorate on Tuesday, protesting officials’ refusal to pay several-month insurance premiums and demanded a change in their job classification.

One of the protesters said, ” Workers’ insurance premium has not been paid for about 30 months and we have not had an insurance booklet for nine months. In addition, we have been working without any contract since March.”

Also on Tuesday, the workers of the Water and Sewage Department in the city of Gachsaran, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, held a rally, demanding three-month delayed paychecks and insurance premiums. They are working without a constant contract.

One of the protesters said, “We have not had a contract since March, because the Water and Sewage Department set a very low payment, and no contractor will take over the job.”

On Tuesday, a number Bus Company drivers gathered in front of the Tehran City Council. The rallied drivers demand the implementation of job classification plan, protesting delayed paychecks and job bonuses.

Over the past few years, union members have repeatedly referred to or corresponded with the city council and the management of Bus Company to pursue a revision of the job classification plan.

According to a May 18 report by the Eghtesaad 24 website, Sayed Rahim Mir Abdullah, the head of the union of the Islamic Labor Council of the Bus Company, said, “Since 2005, no revision has been made in the job classification plan of Bus Company workers. Since then, economic developments have been to the detriment of wage earners.”

“The problem is that despite all the promises, the exact time of the review of the job classification plan is still unknown. Due to the upcoming city council elections, this promise may be postponed. In return, nothing will happen to control the cost of living for workers,” Mir Abdullah continued.

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